The News for April 13th, 2018

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Ford reveals all-new Focus for global markets

  • Chevrolet debuts… uh, striking new Camaro facelift

  • Next-gen Silverado HD launches next year

  • BMW M2 Competition gets leaked

  • What’s your automotive news?

2019 Ford Focus

World, say hello to your new Focus. Ford has revealed their all-new 2019 Focus global lineup following the success of the previous model where Ford first learned how much better the One Ford strategy was. The Focus has been redesigned from the wheels up to be more spacious, more engaging, and smarter. It will launch with three different body styles plus one that’s ever so slightly taller than the others.
The first thing you’ll notice is the all-new bodywork and its more cab-rearward configuration. There’s a longer hood, revised aerodynamics that increase efficiency, and it appears they were fans of Volvo’s ‘Thor’s Hammer’ running light design too. The sleek bodywork provides a more premium look and allows for more cabin space while not taking up any more space than the old model.

Depending on the market, you can get the Focus as a four-door sedan, five-door hatch, and a five-door wagon. They highlighted three new trim levels as well, including a sportier ST-Line (not to be confused with the actual Focus ST… it’s like M-Sport with BMW), an upscale Vignale, and a more adventurous Active which turns the Focus into a soft-roader that no one will buy.
The interior is another area that gets refined and stuff. There’s a redesigned instrument panel that aims to make it easier to get in and out, an electric parking brake and rotary gear shift dial, and a narrower center console with soft knee pads all in the name of saving space. They even redesigned the side mirrors to reduce that air throbbing effect when you drive with the windows down at speed.

Ford says the Focus is designed to be “a smarter car for a smarter world” (did they not hear about the Tide Pod challenge?) which means the debut of Ford Co-Pilot360, a new driver assistance suite, and the Ford Pass Connect apps. Some of the new safety features introduced include adaptive cruise control with lane-centering, stop & go, and sign recognition; adaptive headlights which adjust for cornering and illuminating road signs (they say that’s an industry first); more automated Park Assist; and Evasive Steering Assist to help you dodge stopped cars.
Some of the Ford Pass Connect features include a WiFi hotspot for up to 10 devices and live traffic within Sync, and a mobile app with a vehicle locator, real-time status displays, and remote locking/unlocking and engine start.

Engineers also spent time on improving the car’s driving experience by developing a new suspension and chassis that’s 20% more rigid. They say you’ll have improved body control from all that plus more responsive steering from a new electric power steering unit. As is all the rage these days, they’re also adding drive modes for the first time which adjusts engine and transmission response, steering feel, and cruise control to match the occasion.
Available engines are all dependent on the market, but there a range of 1.0-liter, 1.5-liter, and 2.0-liter engines with different outputs and gas and diesel options offered between China and Europe. America will get their engines finalized at a later date.
The all-new Focus goes on sale in China and Europe later this year. America has to wait until the second half of 2019.
[Source: Ford]

2019 Chevrolet Camaro

Then there’s this thing. Chevrolet has revealed a “reinvigorating” 2019 Camaro that adds a distinctive new design that absolutely nobody has said anything bad about, some new tech features, and more love for the turbo four-cylinder model.
The 2019 Camaro’s striking new design “follows the mantra that all elements must not only be beautiful but also enhance performance”, which is about the funniest thing I’ve read all week. It certainly helped with the latter though as the grille details and hood and fascia vents all provide cooling and/or reducing drag or lift. Design “highlights” include more model-specific details, up front especially. For instance, the SS gets the black face paint and the hollowed-out “Flowtie” Chevy emblem that I’m sure has as big of an affect as they say it does.

Chevrolet rolls out an updated version of their infotainment system to all 2019 Camaros that tries to mimic a typical smartphone interface which gets displayed on a standard 7″ or optional 8″ display. Additionally, the SS and ZL1 get a standard rear camera mirror, forward collision alert, an enhanced performance data recorder, and line lock on 10-speed-equipped SS models because America.

Perhaps the best news for fans of the four-cylinder is that Chevrolet’s track-ready 1LE package is now offered on the 2.0-liter turbo-equipped Camaros. The Turbo 1LE (above) features a fully reworked suspension, wider summer tires, Brembo brakes, flat-bottomed steering wheel, available Recaro seats, and additional track modes with some other fun stuff thrown in. It’s only available on manual-equipped cars and it has a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution.
Pricing has not been announced yet.
[Source: Chevrolet]

Chevrolet Silverado HD Teaser

Chevrolet is scheduled to reveal the next-generation Silverado HD next year as a 2020 model. It’s about to get into the thick of its testing and validation stages as they strive to make it the most capable Silverado yet. The first production example is scheduled to roll off the assembly line in Q3 2019. And uh… it’ll look a little bit like this.
[Source: Chevrolet]

BMW M2 Competition Leaked

I’m sure BMW doesn’t want me covering this, but I didn’t want them to introduce the X2 so I’d say we’re even. BMW Blog Slovenia has found themselves in possession of some M2 Competition details and photos which were leaked – by total accident I’m sure.
According to the unintentional leak, the M2 Competition is given the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight six from the M4 that’s been detuned to 410 horsepower and 405 lb.-ft. of torque, a substantial jump of 45 hp and 62 lb.-ft. over the standard M2. If this package is anything like it was on the M4, it’ll also include revised suspension and steering settings plus unique wheels (check) and seats.
As expected, the M2 Competition seems to coincide with a face lift for the 2 Series/M2 that looks to have added revised headlights, new kidney grilles, and a new lower lip, though some of that may just be a Competition deal only. We’ll see more of this car at the Beijin auto show in two weeks.
[Source: BMW Blog Slovenia via Autoweek]

What’s your automotive news?

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.
[Image © 2018 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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39 responses to “The News for April 13th, 2018”

  1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    Well, here goes nothing. There’s a Mustang GT Performance Pack 2 in the order books with my big stupid name on it. Now all I gotta do is not be killed in a nuclear war before June.

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      Hot damn Greg! Awesome!
      Now, just please don’t harass your dealer with daily weekly phone calls asking where the car is.

      1. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
        Greg Kachadurian

        Oh I will 😛 Fortunately I know the manager there pretty well now so I probably won’t even need to ask. Thanks!

    2. nanoop Avatar

      I read “Press F4 to summit” – the highest point of your automotive ownership!

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    Must be the week to order new whips ’cause we did it too – JL Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. Ocean Blue Metallic (yeah, I finally get to order a blue truck!). 6 spd manual, hard top. 8-12 weeks which is a far cry from the 7 months we waited for SS.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    I might ruin a weekend for a few folks here but this could be worth it. The Internet Archive ( has a free online library that you can register with. It allows you to “check out” books for 14 days and read them online. The book scans include all illustrations, etc. Not only have I found the books below available, but I’ve also found a whole bunch of Automobile Quarterly books – maybe the complete run. I’m sure there’s more great car books out there. Happy hunting!

    1. P161911 Avatar

      I think that I have hard copies of at least 2 of those. Thanks to the old Goodwill Book Sale that they used to have a Northlake Mall in Atlanta. (Entire bottom floor public spaces of a decent sized mall full of used books, several tractor trailer worth.)

    2. jotahesse Avatar

      Used to own that copy of Cars International when I was a kid. That thing got perused quite often, even though it was in 3 languages. The only thing close to it is the Automobile Revue that gets published every year for the Geneva Motor Show.

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    This looks messy:
    In other news, my Honda made it through tech inspection with, officially, 0 issues. That’s just sloppy work, as I know of at least 3 issues that, all on their own, should have denied the seal of approval.
    Also, our Camry is so rare on this side of the Atlantic, Toyota is asking for almost 3000$ for a new, complete exhaust – and nobody else sells any fitting parts. Ergo, waiting for parts from the US.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Par for the course really, at least it doesn’t have little plastic pieces on the body to modify the aero separation like I have seen on some cars. Either they changed their minds or perhaps didn’t consult the wind tunnel in the first place
      Also is this the first time that the Focus has been confirmed for America?

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      Don’t you have exhaust shops that will mount some suitable generic mufflers and join them with pipe? Or isn’t that allowed?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Yes, that was our first option, but when we saw that basically the entire exhaust is gone…it’s too many parts. Nobody in Norway lifts a finger for less than 110-120$/hr billed. So waiting three weeks for parts and paying 1/3 of the total for shipping is cheaper and probably offers a better quality, too. It also seems that the Camry has a pretty weirdly positioned catalysator right at the manifold and a couple of different mufflers.

    3. nanoop Avatar

      Congratulations on the tech inspection! You really need to keep that workshop close – you are sharing a dirty secret now…

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Could be…anywhere. Cough.

    4. Zentropy Avatar

      I agree, that is clumsy design. But honestly, if it means a wagon in the U.S., I’d be satisfied despite the less-than-artistic window lines.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        I’d worry more about the giant blind spot those tiny windows cause. I know we’re not supposed to look out the side or rear windows anymore and just rely on the electronic ninnies, but those will break after three years and be too expensive to fix/replace.

  5. mdharrell Avatar

    So, two things about that Zap Xebra I mentioned a few days ago:
    (1) The guy who had been trying to sell it was not the same guy from whom I got my HMV Freeway. Same town, similar fence, different guy.
    (2) The Xebra is an utterly pathetic vehicle devoid of any redeeming features. Its design, engineering, construction, and performance all fall far short of even the most minimal standards of acceptability (and my standards are rather low in this regard). This one is also in poor-ish condition and is currently stuck in a patch of mud behind the guy’s house. His kids had been using it as a toy to run around the back yard on what’s left of its battery pack’s ability to hold a charge, which isn’t much. Also the radio doesn’t work.

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      so how much did you pay for it?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Three hundred, but he agreed to pull it out of the mud before I go pick it up.

      2. mdharrell Avatar

        I have now simultaneously joined the automotive 21st century and explored the practical limits of my largest trailer…

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          All hail the Cyclop Xebra!

          1. Monkey10is Avatar

            The Xebra: When you can’t Xig, you Xag.

          2. Van_Sarockin Avatar


          3. mdharrell Avatar

            According to the VIN it’s actually a Jinan Dalong Vehicle Industry Co. Ltd. (Qingqi Group Motorcycle Co. Ltd.) Pioneer Shandong Pioneer Motorcycle, second remodel, from Shandong Pioneer Motorcycle Co. Ltd.
            Then again, also according to the VIN it’s got a single-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine of between 126 and 250 cc, which I have yet to find hidden anywhere among the batteries and the electric motor, so I have my doubts.

          4. I_Borgward Avatar

            They call it the Pioneer Shandong Pioneer for short.

          5. mdharrell Avatar

            Well, the make is listed as “Pioneer” and the model as “Shandong Pioneer Motorcycle” (the rest being the manufacturer and the plant), so it’s quite possible. Judging from the company’s website I believe what the vehicles are really called is “We Will Sell These to You Wholesale and You Can Put Whatever Name You Want on Them.”

          6. Vairship Avatar

            Take it to your local BestBuy, tell them that it’s made by Pioneer (bought in a package deal with your stereo), still under warranty, and you demand they fix it.

        2. I_Borgward Avatar

          Did you know they licensed the music for “On the Road Again” from Willie, for an ad in the home market?:
          Pioneer Shandong
          I just can’t wait to drive my Pioneer Shandong
          The car I drive is made by Jinan Dalong
          and I can’t wait to get me more Shandong
          Pioneer Shandong
          like a band of golf carts
          we roll down the highway
          Jinan Dalong, Vehicle Industry Company, Limited
          Jinan Dalong…

  6. outback_ute Avatar

    Surely those Silverado side mirrors would cause huge blind spots for anyone who isn’t tall enough to see over them, which seems like it would be a lot! Why do they need to be so tall?

    1. ptschett Avatar

      I’ve spent a fair amount of time driving heavy trucks (US DOT class 6 thru 8), both straight trucks and semi trucks, in farm applications hauling grain from the field to the farm & later from the farm to the point of sale. Usually trucks that big have mirrors that are practically the same height as the side windows. I don’t remember ever having issues.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Would it be fair to say that those trucks have more upright windshields, so that the mirrors are more in your peripheral vision compared to a light pickup though?

  7. Smaglik Avatar

    I have no news from my vehicles, but I am currently driving a 2018 Chevy Cruze for a rental over the weekend. Other than the fact that the previous driver hotboxed it and Dollar tried to cover it up with pine trees, it’s not miserable to drive. I was surprised.

  8. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    time to let this big boi go.
    every time i’m lying in bed thinking about the future, i’m itching to sell it. it’s not a forever car for me, i tell myself, lovely though it is. but every time i drive it, i get to thinking if i could ever find another as good.

  9. Zentropy Avatar

    First off,
    1) That Silverado teaser is heinous. This looks like an inebriated, belated knee-jerk reaction to the Raptor done in crayon on a napkin that wouldn’t hold together if used as toilet paper.
    2) Grats to Kachadurian on the Mustang order!
    3) Yes, the Camaro restyle is a mess. Chevrolet designers really need to get their $#!+ together. See comment 1.
    On the home front, my E28 now has functional radio and bluetooth now, which is cool. However, now that the weather is (finally) warming up, I’ve realized that getting fresh (cool) air into the cabin is a no-go. I know my A/C needs charged, but any air I get is hot air. I’m thinking the flaps are stuck or the servos are bad, and all incoming air is passing over the heater coil.
    On a positive note, I finally received a caliper rebuild kit from the UK for the front brakes. I learned that in the US, only complete new calipers are available (at ridiculous prices).
    On a negative note, the bigger tires/wheels I installed have revealed suspension inadequacies that will require remedy sooner than I expected.
    The wife will not be pleased with this…

  10. Sjalabais Avatar

    This weekend we’re renting a cabin in a popular area, as opposed to the off the grid, solitude places we usually go to (this place doesn’t just have cell cover, electricity and water, but also a freakin’ dishwasher). So with lots of people around, human rules dictate we need behavioural signs, for where to go in the prepared ski tracks:
    Sort of cute with traffic rules like that way off the next road.

    1. neight428 Avatar

      SCOOTER LØYPE was awesome opening up for Jane’s Addiction at the original Lollapalooza in 1991. Their drummer actually did all of the studio stuff for Adele.

  11. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    Spending the weekend racing my 24 Hours of Lemons Hyundai Excel at a very cold, wet, and windy track in Chicago. Apart from busting a motor mount while pushing starting the cad, it’s been fairly smooth sailing and are like 93rd out of 110 cars. Not bad for the slowest car on track.

  12. salguod Avatar

    That Focus is a good looking car. Looking at the 5 door, there was something familiar about it.

  13. crank_case Avatar

    Interesting to see the US is getting the “Commercial” Toyota Land Cruiser so common in the rest of the world.
    Is there a market for this over there, given most people veer towards pickups?